Author Topic: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves  (Read 1136097 times)

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Offline MasterPrivate

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"Three-Block War"?   What kinda concept is that?   Who comes up with this stuff?

Frankly, it sounds made up.  ;)

Offline FormerHorseGuard

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"three block concept" sort of makes sense  but called the wrong thing.

not sure what  it should be called

if you look at current Ops in the middle east  you can see how it can be done or considered

all thoughts are just for thought not policy  or war planning

take a routine patrol 

walking from base camp

first block or so it is very friendly  and very  normal setting, people getting on with being a normal town,  people work, wandering the streets, kids playing in the streets
soldiers stop and chat  exchange information, candy bars, water, smokes, and just meet and greet people , maybe spend a few bucks on stupid stuff they really do not need but it makes the people happy. People up close and personal with the soldiers, low level of danger

second block or middle of patrol zone

people require a little more help and a lot more watching
first aide is offered, food and water supplies are dealt with, people more on the guard for some thing wrong or waiting for it to happen.
less people getting close to the soldiers on patrol. medium level of danger

3rd block or end of range of foot patrol

ememy troops close by, streets are less populated , no one getting close to the troops,  fire exchanged often enough that  troops are more alert, weapons are carried with finger on the trigger guard. more combat damage to the area then in other patrol areas.  more searches conducted for non friendly  persons, weapons, traps etc.


never been in hostile country ( just what  CNN shows)
but i can see how the 3 block training concept could be looked at for training.

not agreeing 100 percent with the idea but with some training is better then no training

Offline kincanucks

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http://www.army.forces.gc.ca/lf/English/5_4_1_1.asp?FlashEnabled=1&

Three block war.   Perhaps it is time to do a little reading as Transformation is coming.
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Offline FormerHorseGuard

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i read it, very  interesting ideas.  i was guessing what  it was like or the concept. guess i got some of it right. just used the wrong terms and  ideas

Offline MCG

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I believe that hierarchy of roles for the Militia (and the Primary Reserve in general) is extremely important. I do not believe that any attempt to produce a vision for the future of the Army Reserve will stand the test if it does not conform to the direction of the Minister: 1) mobilization, 2) linkage to the community, and 3) augmentation.

In the past, various attempts to define the missions and tasks to be assigned to the Militia have become exercises of "cherry picking", choosing those that were popular at the time, or which were thought to be financially viable, ignoring government policy.
Is mobilization even a realistic roll today?  Maybe domestic mobilization, but the equipment does not exist for Reserve mobilization to fight beside the Regular Force on foreign ops.  I think the augmentation roll is still viable at the individual and up to sub-unit level for both domestic and international operations.  So perhaps the first roll should be "mobilization for domestic operations".  I know that the National Survival roll did not work in the past, but maybe its time has come?

I fully agree with a_majoor in the finding a niche concept.   (I can hear Infanteer cringe)

 Like it or not our system cannot keep functioning in the current manner.   We need to lift the IRU task for domestic ops off the regular force and have a solid local system in place much like the US ARNG.   It makes no sence to ship an Artillery Reg't from Manitoba to BC to fight a fire and likewise for floods and icestorms.

 Local troops shoudl be immediately (within 12hrs) be able to be deployed towards a thread of that nature.   

...

However I think the LFRR must focus on identifiying some units for DOMOPS only - thus they can be tailored for certain roles (WMD taskings etc.)
 
...
I suppose there is another future for the militia; creation of large units and assignment of home defense roles. Second responders to radiological attack or natural disasters etc. Sort of a part time fire department/ medical clinic/ grocery store. Who knows maybe a lot of people would like to part of a homeland defence force. 

If we want local troops to continuously be available at a high notice to move, it is conceivable that we could achieve this with a return to another failed experiment: the 10/90 battalion.  This time, the regular force component would have the additional roll of being the vanguard sub-unit to any local DOMOP.
The 8CH in Gagetown was a 90/10 Sqn. Most that were with them, well it sucked.
We would want to be very careful not to repeat the mistakes made during 10/90, which in LFWA at least seemed to generate boundless hatred and suspicion on both sides as to what wicked purpose the integration process was actually serving. 
So, how could the Forces go about making new 10/90 battalions work? Are there any other ideas that could be included into any such radical transformation?

I saw an argument once (that I jumped in to support) which questioned the need of sustaining every reserve regiment as a battalion.  Instead, a regiment would exist as a company (or 2, 3 , or 4 if big enough).  Battalion head quarters would be "regiment neutral" much like our current brigade HQs.  This approach could be applied to armoured and infantry regiments, and it would ensure no regiment became "lost."
These ideas are compatible with 10/90 battalions (especially if the bn were entirely based in one city).  Consider the Winnipeg Battalion which would consist of Wpg Bn HQ, A Coy (Reg F),  B Coy (Royal Winnipeg Rifles), C Coy (The Queens own Cameron Highlanders of Canada), and D Coy (Winnipeg Grenadiers) [yes, I know the Grenadiers are not currently active].  The FGH could even be an element if the Bn does not have to be branch pure.   The Bn HQ would be a mix of regular and reserve pers.

Online Journeyman

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Once upon a time, I was posted into a Toronto Reserve unit as the "RegF guy."
I looked around and asked why they didn't amalgamate units. I suggested creating a "Toronto Regiment," which still allowed perpetuation of unit histories: a "Rifles Coy" with a "Queen's Own Pl" and a "Royal Regiment Pl," a second company - - a "Scottish Coy" of a "48th Highlander Pl," a "Toronto Scottish Pl," and a "Lorne Scots Pl," etc.....

Man, having those nails driven into your palms and feet really stings! 

Any change that will make a unit more effective (ie - more realistic training) will be supported by the majority of the troops. Most changes, however, face resistance from those that see the Reserves as a social club, the regimental mafias, and to a lesser degree, the Honouraries. They will have to be brought on side, or otherwise de-fanged. Otherwise the Reserves will just go through the motions, figuring whoever is trying to implement the change will be posted on soon, and can be out-waited.

As mentioned earlier though.....this has been posted upon frequently - - with little progress to show for it. Let's see what the March 2006 report has to offer.


(Edited for apparently typing with mittens on)
« Last Edit: January 18, 2006, 08:33:59 by Journeyman »
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Offline rifleman

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How do we make anything work? We just do. Set aside the predudice, self-interest and follow the commander's intent and carry out the mission. Unification was fought at all levels by all elements, however now it is embraced as fact. (transformation- unified force with an integrated approach).

10/90s did not work, cause noone wanted it to work.

Offline MCG

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I looked around and asked why they didn't amalgamate units.  I suggested creating a "Toronto Regiment,"
I've heard many arguments on why reserve regiments should maintain thier Bn structures & not be grouped within other regiments in one battalion.  So far, I have not been convinced that it would be bad to have several company sized regiments within one battalion.  I'm even more convinced that this approach would work in big cities, and especially where multiple regiments already reside in the same building. 

Offline ArmyRick

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I find it interesting that the British army has no problems amalgamating several regiments to form larger multi-battalion units. Some of these regiments are older and have far more history to them than any CDN REGT. However talk about doing that here then all the REGT asociations start whining and things like LFRR don't get taken seriously. Too bad, our loss. Lets continue having 140 man regiments with LT COL as COs and CWO as RSMs...
M'eh

Offline MCG

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Are you saying that the 10/90 Bn concept could have been an effective force structure that would have given greater flexibility, efficiency, and/or capability to the Army (or at least to the Army Reserves)?  Or, are you saying that the 10/90 Bns maybe were not the right force structure, but they could have been forced to work imperfectly if everyone made the effort?

Offline TCBF

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" Lets continue having 140 man regiments with LT COL as COs and CWO as RSMs..."

- Well, if the govt would stop wasting money on (fill in your own choice here) and increase the budget for 'man days' and auth strength for the units, perhaps we could see units of 500 or so.  In the meantime, if we insist on limiting our Mo units to 75 or 150, then by all means form semi-perm Tac groupings to train, but maint the historic Regt structure with it's potential to expand to a much greater size if needed.

Best of both worlds.

Tom
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Offline rifleman

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Are you saying that the 10/90 Bn concept could have been an effective force structure that would have given greater flexibility, efficiency, and/or capability to the Army (or at least to the Army Reserves)?  Or, are you saying that the 10/90 Bns maybe were not the right force structure, but they could have been forced to work imperfectly if everyone made the effort?

yes

Offline George Wallace

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Are you saying that the 10/90 Bn concept could have been an effective force structure that would have given greater flexibility, efficiency, and/or capability to the Army (or at least to the Army Reserves)?  Or, are you saying that the 10/90 Bns maybe were not the right force structure, but they could have been forced to work imperfectly if everyone made the effort?

Now rifleman responds with:
yes
So......As MCG asked........Which is it?
« Last Edit: January 19, 2006, 08:18:53 by George Wallace »
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Offline rifleman

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I was commenting on how we make things work. It was not to comment on the effectiveness of any commander's decision.

Offline MCG

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I was commenting on how we make things work.
When you suggested that 10/90 did not work because lower levels worked against it, you seem to imply that 10/90 was a good plan that should have been a success.

Consider the emphasis on "effect" that has recently found its way into our manoeuvre command based vernacular.  If the lower levels can see that a plan will not achieve the desired effects, then there should be some constructive criticism pushed back up.

So, I'll re-state my original question: how could the CF go about making new 10/90 battalions improve the overall capabilities of the Regular and Reserve Forces (or at the very least improve the capabilities of the Reserve Forces with out eroding from the capabilities of the Regular Forces)?
« Last Edit: January 19, 2006, 11:11:32 by MCG »

Online Chris Pook

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Quote
So, I'll re-state my original question: how could the CF go about making new 10/90 battalions improve the overall capabilities of the Regular and Reserve Forces (or at the very least improve the capabilities of the Reserve Forces with out eroding from the capabilities of the Regular Forces)?

By adding the bodies necessary for the 10% to existing resources.  By definition your question of eroding capabilities suggests that there are current, existing capabilities to erode.  If they are maintained they are not eroded.

If new resources were ONLY directed to 10/90 (or in the CPC proposal 20/80) battalions/units/task forces then current capabilities could be maintained.  Therefore any capabilities supplied by the 10/90s would be in addition to those supplied by the existing force structure.  In addition, relieving existing force structure of responsibilities would allow them to concentrate efforts on other areas.

However the proposal is not to maintain existing resources for existing capabilities but to increase the resources for existing capabilities while adding resources for the 10/90s.

As to making the 10/90s effective - add resources.  Improved facilities to permit effective local training with qualified instructors.  Improve the equipment base (one of the problems with the 10/90s was the shared equipment sets with only 4 training centres scattered across the country).   The Windsor Armouries seem to be a better model than MTSC Meaford in terms of improving the quality of the Militia.  It allows for useful individual and small unit training.  Meaford is useful for concentrations but then again so are existing Reg Force exercise areas. 

Also improve the quality of the leadership cadre - the Militia doesn't lack for spirit.  It does lack experience.

Rant off. ;D
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Offline Thucydides

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Although I was never personally in a 10/90 Bn, I recall at the time that 3 RCR was all over the map in terms of preceived utility and effectiveness, even from people serving in the unit itself! Even today, talking to former 3 RCR members from the 10/90 period, there is a wide range of assessments.

My take on this was the powers that be were trying to create an actual mechanized battalion with a "Swedish" style structure. Most Swedish units are similar to a 10/90 battalion, a small full time cadre lives and works in a warehouse like base going through the equipment maintainence cycle, and for two weeks a year the actual riflemen fall in on the kit and roar off into the woods. Since the Swedes make this work with fairly advanced equipment (Leopard II tanks, CV-90 IFVs, FH-70 artillery etc.) there does not seem to be any conceptual reason we could not do this either. In fact, since our Reserves have more continuation training during the year than either the Sweds or the US ANG, they should be able to do amazing things given the right support.

Back in the real world, the lack of equipment "sets" to support training and the administrative headaches (administrivia like who wears what cap badge to intigrating multiple pay systems to imagining how you would mobilize a battalion made up of 90% reservists who have no job protection....) probably did more to kill the concept than any inherent problems with the concept. Today I could se a 10/90 or 20/80 Bn of light Infantry, with most of the 10 or 20 going to support coy where training and experience counts the most, but until the resource and administration "friction" is addressed, no fractional unit will ever be able to work.

Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline MCG

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If new resources were ONLY directed to 10/90 (or in the CPC proposal 20/80) battalions/units/task forces then current capabilities could be maintained.
I tend to think that if new resources are ONLY directed to creating 10/90 battalions, then we would be neglecting existing deficiencies of the regular force in order to create these battalions.  If you intended to say that ONLY new resources are directed to 10/90 battalions, then I would agree that such a move would not erode from the regular force structure (not the same as regular force capabilities).

While it was not my intent to dissect the Conservative proposal, I think you have identified one element that would be required for 10/90 that did not exist in the previous experiment: political support to grow the structure (not just re-allocate from existing structure).

Today I could se a 10/90 or 20/80 Bn of light Infantry, with most of the 10 or 20 going to support coy where training and experience counts the most,
If the intent of the 10/90s is to be firefighter battalions, this would likely be the be one of the best options.  Far better than a regular force rifle company sitting outside the managed readiness cycle.  Sure, it does not provide for the high readiness vanguard sub-unit.  However, this would ensure that capable CSS support for a unit would be available in the location of the 10/90 Bn (able to support regular IRU troops or local reservists) & that the local CO would know how to use it (this was an occasional frustration on PEREGRINE where CSS did not seem to be understood at the unit level).

Offline Tango2Bravo

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Like AMajoor I was not in a 10/90 Battalion but I was in the Reserves at the time (early/mid 90s).  I worked at District (then CBG) for a year after the 10/90s had been stood down and at least one former 10/90 unit was in our District.  This unit seemed to be "stronger" at the time than those that had not, but perhaps there were other reasons. 

The 10/90 concept took advantage of the removal of regular force units from 4 CMBG and their subsequent draw-down.  This was during the big cuts of the time and it allowed for these units to be kept on the books without having alot of soldiers.  The infantry 10/90 Battalions were then reconstituted in 1995/96 (in my recollection) as part of the modest increase in "bayonets" at the time (the RCD also got a C Sqn for a brief time again).  This took away the pool of people that had been assigned to the 10/90s in the first place.

I think that the 10/90 concept could certainly work.  A modified concept could be the one that I witnessed with a USMC reserve battalion.  It was a honest to goodness battalion with full companies to include unit level CS and CSS.  It had many active duty Marines on staff, including a LCol.  Each company had a Captain, the equivalent of a CSM, several NCOs and also several CSS personnel.  This meant that planning and coordination for unit training was carried out the full-timers, although the senior reserve leaders were certainly involved.

We could adopt a similar model, but it would take an investment of regular force NCOs.  Sgts and WOs are in pretty short supply and are needed in lots of places!  In addition, to really work it would probably require a re-examination of having units with one sub-unit.  Looking at Ontario, LFCA could probably generate three or four such units.  This would give an improved Dom Ops response capability while also, perhaps, offering the possibility of a "surge" capability.
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Offline Bobbyoreo

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I know this has been said, but you need to have job protection. People always say well no one is going to higher you if you have to go away. I've done it twice and held a job.

Next get some standards, ONE standard and keep it ...at least for a year!!! Then train the unit for what it well be doing on tours. Not for what it may do. Train them to the same standard as the Regs. It can be done, just need the proper leadership to do this. Then send them away as a plt or company and let them work together or with other groups. Make units more useful...IE  constrution engineers, grunts, MSEOPS, V TECHs and other civy jobs that the forces need. I know being a grunt is not a civy job, but it is low cost training. Dont need millions of bucks to train people to shoot.

We all know the equipment is not there, so train around this problem. I know my unit was told to ship away the Iltis, two months later after not getting the G wagons they asked for the old jeeps back to do some driver training.

These are just a few ideas. I know with a few of you, your rolling your eyes, but I've served in the reserves for 9 yrs and have watched good people leave cause the training is going down the drain. Now all I see is kids coming in for some money to use towards school. Not really caring if they show up next weekend or not. We really have to sit down and find out what you want these units to do and then train them for that.

My two cents!!! :cdn: :salute:

Facta Non Verba

Online Brad Sallows

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From anecdotes, I came to believe that the junior soldiers and officers responded well to 10/90 because they responded well to being led and trained by experienced full-time officers and NCOs.  If there was lukewarm to negative response, it seemed to reside in the middle and senior rank levels.  Is there anyone who was directly involved at the time who can reinforce my perception one way or the other?

If that perception were borne out, then 10/90 or some other fractional arrangement might be the most successful reserve restructure we never really tried, provided we could afford the full-time staff and the equipment pools.  In the end, while some of the part-time middle and senior leadership at the time of initiation might be shunted aside, it would be reasonable to expect the next crop of reserve leaders to be at least a little bit better for having been trained by, and worked alongside, a sizeable critical mass of regulars.

The train wreck I observed from a distance was that at least one reserve unit dumped a portion of its middle and senior rank levels which were felt (rightly or wrongly, I don't know) at the time to be unnecessary and underperforming, and then was in turn dumped from 10/90 when the battalion withdrew - taking with it not a few component transfers, and supposedly leaving with a slightly more complete CFFET than it brought to the party - leaving the unit shorter of soldiers, leaders, and kit.  Note that the only decision I criticize was the one to prematurely eject the former senior leadership; component transfers are a valuable source of already-committed soldiers and it is axiomatic that the deployable forces have first call on deployable kit.  The lesson is that if we try it again, we must stand behind it for a decade or more rather than changing fashions with the next change of government or senior NDHQ appointments.
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Offline MCG

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Then train the unit for what it well be doing on tours. Not for what it may do.
Would we start deploying reserve battalions if they were 10/90?

Offline Bobbyoreo

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We should be. Why would we train anyone in the forces if we never planed to deploy them? LIke buying a car and never driving it!!!!
Facta Non Verba

Offline MCG

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We don't deploy reserve battalions now, but individual reservists still get deployed.

This gets to another question.  What is the roll/function of a 10/90 battalion (in relation to domestic operations, international operations, and force generation)?  Is to to provide better trained soldiers & sub-units to augment regular force deployments, or is it to proved a battalion sized surge capability?  Should a 10/90 battalion be providing the vanguard sub-units to IRU calls within its AO, or should we continue to generate that vanguard from the regular force while expecting the 10/90 Bn to provide the comd & CSS to the vanguard and then add follow-on sub-units from itself?

Offline Thucydides

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We don't deploy reserve battalions now, but individual reservists still get deployed.

This gets to another question.  What is the roll/function of a 10/90 battalion (in relation to domestic operations, international operations, and force generation)?  Is to to provide better trained soldiers & sub-units to augment regular force deployments, or is it to proved a battalion sized surge capability?  Should a 10/90 battalion be providing the vanguard sub-units to IRU calls within its AO, or should we continue to generate that vanguard from the regular force while expecting the 10/90 Bn to provide the comd & CSS to the vanguard and then add follow-on sub-units from itself?

In the context of the Conservative idea, a 10/90 battalion (actually a 20/80) would exist as a DOMOPS force, but would also provide a cascade effect for the other tasks that the Army is expected to do. I would expect that (given the size) the 20/80would be the vanguard and be able to provide command and CSS to follow on forces arriving from other places. The soldiers in the 20/80 would do both MLOC training to maintain their soldiering skills, as well as contingency training for the various tasks they may undertake in the AOR (some of which would be quite military in nature, in case you are thinking of "rescue columns" again).

The Regular troops would have a breather from operations while posted in the 20/80, and be better off in other ways (spouses in cities will have a better chance of getting employment, for example), while once the Reserve soldiers ended their Class "B" contracts, they will be at a higher level of training if they want to augment a TF, or provide a better level of skill and leadership back in their parent units. For that reason, it might be wise to limit contracts to one year and encourage a flow of reserve troops through the 20/80 (although not a mass turnover of 50% or more).
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.